Debt and financial aid
I know there are lots of questions about debt and finances, but I was hoping to get some advice on my situation. My boyfriend and I (we live together and combine all our bills and income) currently have: 1 maxed out credit card with $1000 limit 1 maxed out credit card with $1500 limit 1 store credit card with $500 left to pay 1 car loan with $1300 left to pay And I have a $5500 subsidized student loan, which I will start paying off next spring when I graduate. For financial aid for my last year at college, I have another offer for a $5500 subsidized student loan. I already have enough in grants and scholarships to pay for tuition, books and probably a big chunk of rent, but I will be taking a heavy credit load and my job doesn't pay a lot (I work 20-35 hours a week). Additionally, my boyfriend will be in school full time starting in September so he will no longer be able to support us by working full time. During this past year, he's been in school part time and working full time, and still things have been tight with money, but his checks always help a lot. He plans to work about 20-30 hours a week, and we both plan to bring in about $1000 a month. We are admittedly not very good with budgeting and finances. We are young and inexperienced and both had very poor and financially irresponsible parents. We have zero in savings and currently zero in checking until my BF's check next Friday. We are up-to-date on rent and the credit accounts, but way behind on Internet, phone, electricity and car insurance. I have hopes of us getting everything in order, but I am worried that we'll just be too stressed out to keep a close watch on money while we're both in college. So I am wondering what my best bet would be. I am thinking of taking the loan offer and using it to completely pay off the credit cards (and cut them up) and the car loan, since I'll have a year to start payments and it'll be much lower interest. I am also thinking that I'll use my leftover financial aid money (after tuition, fees and books) to pay off rent in full for the entire semester. With the grants, (and after the loan money is taken out for the credit accounts) I estimate that I'll have about $3000 left over each semester for living expenses, which would cover four months of rent at $675/mo. That way the anticipated $2000/mo that we'll be bringing in can go to other bills and possibly, hopefully some savings. The only thing I am worried about is my boyfriend's financial aid package. He submitted his FAFSA a few months late and just sent in the verification documents to the school last week. Classes start mid-September. If he receives enough aid to pay tuition I am sure we'll be fine, but I worry that he'll need loans as well. I really don't want to get into more debt than necessary. Does this sound like a good idea or would it be better to work on paying off all those credit accounts aggressively through the school year and ending the year with just the one $5500 loan? I guess the $11000 figure just sounds really daunting to me. Not including any loans that he might need throughout the next three-four years. I need to accept the loan offer by this Wednesday, but he probably won't be hearing back about his aid until at least Friday. Sorry I don't have more of a specific question, I am just wondering if you all think this sounds like a reasonable plan, or if you have other ideas or any tips for getting through this year and learning to budget while both going crazy in school. Thanks everybody!